A recent poll showed that church attendees increasingly believe that President Donald Trump and presidents in general are “anointed by God,” according to the Christian Post.
- Researchers Paul Djupe of Denison University and Ryan Burge of Eastern Illinois University compared survey data from May 2019 and March 2020 of white Protestants, among whom belief in overall presidential anointment increased over the year.
- In 2019, 4.3 percent of white Protestants who seldom attend worship said that they believe the presidents were anointed. In March 2020, the percentage went up to 11 percent.
- In 2019, 13.6 percent of white Protestants who attend worship a few times per month said that they believed Trump specially to be anointed. The percentage reached 31.2 percent in March.
- Among weekly church attendees, 49.1 percent of respondents who are not white Protestants believed that Trump was anointed, only slightly smaller than the 49.5 percent among white Protestants.
Djupe and Burge reflected on the data comparison and said:
It is also clear that there remains a gap in believing that all presidents are anointed versus whether Trump was, though it is now much smaller.
In 2019, the gap was nearly 40% across attendance categories, though by 2020 the gap was closer to 15%. The religious significance of the presidency is spreading.
The president himself raised controversy for referring to himself as anointed. Last August, Trump commented on trade negotiations with China and said, “I am the chosen one. Somebody had to do it. So I’m taking on China.”
- On the same day, Trump retweeted a comment from conservative radio host Wayne Root, which compared the president to the “King of Israel.”
- Trump later claimed that he was being sarcastic with the retweet, and that reporters should know that he was just joking.